Pot and Kettle

July 28, 2020

Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. Matthew 7:5 NLT

Have you ever read a new article, heard a newscast, a sermon, or even read a social media post and internally rolled your eyes, thinking, “Well, that’s the pot calling the kettle black!” You see that this person has a slim margin, if any, to criticize another person because of the inconsistencies in his own life in the very same areas.

Jesus spoke about it very creatively and clearly. He was speaking about our tendency to judge others. Keep in mind, He didn’t say we couldn’t judge; in fact He told us later that we have a responsibility to sort out the fruit in people’s lives to make an appropriate judgment, and we are urged to be careful and compassionate and also sometimes corrective in our judgments. But He set the standard we must remember: “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged”(Matthew 5:1-2). When we judge another person, we leave ourselves wide open for the same kind of judgment. In my personal experience, I would say it comes back in spades!

Jesus asks the people whom He has observed being so critical toward others with their judgments and condemning arrogance, “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?”(Matthew 7:3-4).Pot and kettle. Isn’t it interesting how clearly we believe we can see the flaws in others, but we can’t see the same thing in ourselves?

Jesus then moves quickly to announcing what must be done about this tendency. Realize that judging others while failing to see or address my own flaws and failings is sheer hypocrisy. We HATE to think of ourselves as anything less than authentic and transparent, and we will loudly declare ourselves to be so. But in the stillness and quietness, if we would tune our hearts to hear it, we would often hear Jesus’ words, “Come on now, don’t be a hypocrite.” Recognizing our hypocrisy is the first step. Recognizing that we criticize leaders for not leading large groups well when we aren’t even managing our own lives and little circle well, and that officially qualifies us as a hypocrite, is step one. Then Jesus said, “First, give your attention to getting your own huge blinder dealt with. You have a log in your eye. You will never be able to see well enough or operate delicately enough to help your friend with the speck in his eye until you can see without your own issues clouding your perspective.”

  • Whom do you most often criticize? Talk to Jesus and ask Him to help you drop your judgmental spirit and see where your own inconsistencies make you look foolish. Listen, and then get to work on the log.